Preparing for a Crisis: Building an Effective Crisis Communication Plan

It’s 2019. Has your company or organization updated its crisis communication plan? 

If not, GroundFloor Media’s team of crisis communication experts can help you easily draft or update a plan, and then test it. Each year, our team works with clients across industries to review their plans to make sure they are still accurate in terms of risks and assessments, messaging, key audiences, scenarios and responses, and monitoring.  We also run tabletop drills to keep crisis team members up-to-date with their plan and to be better prepared when the inevitable happens.We’re happy to share our list of 10 best practices for crisis communication and reputation management. Just provide your name and email address to access them.

  1. Timing is Crucial. The speed of a crisis can be overwhelming. You have to react immediately or you will remain stuck behind the story.
  2. Be Honest and Open. It’s better to hear bad news from you than from the media. Never underestimate people’s capacity for forgiveness.
  3. Don’t Forget Employees. There is no greater community ambassador than an employee. Treat them like other valued audiences.
  4. Have a Plan and Test it Regularly. Nothing makes a crisis easier to handle than having a set of processes and messages in place.
  5. Your Plan is Just a Starting Point. Even the best plans have to be customized to a degree on the fly for the specific crisis.
  1. Social Media has Changed Everything. The ability for one or two disaffected customers to get attention has never been greater, not to mention viral advocacy campaigns that can damage business and ongoing reputations. Figure out who is monitoring and if or how to respond on all social media platforms.
  2. Go Where the Conversations are Happening. You don’t control where people talk about you, and you have to go where they are.
  3. It Isn’t Personal to Media. Media cover a crisis because they think it is a good story, not because they have a vendetta against you.
  4. A Crisis is Like a Boxing Match. Even if you win, you are going to hurt for a little while.
  5. You’re Never Sorry Later for Having Taken the High Road. Crises can be emotional, but try hard to keep it in perspective.

If you need help creating or updating your crisis communication plan, please contact us.

Rapid Response Team

Our experienced team of communications experts is available 24/7 to help you respond to a crisis. Our team averages nearly 20 years of experience in communications, and we have worked with some of the most recognizable companies in the country managing national media and social media crises and issues.

Our Rapid Response Team includes former reporters, editors and producers who covered important business and community issues. We also have team members who have worked inside Fortune 100 companies and understand the impact that pressure can place on C-level executives in the boardroom.